The Alfred Kordelin Foundation is one of Finland’s oldest cultural foundations operating in the Finnish language. The foundation was in its 98th year of operation in 2018. It awarded its first grants in 1920. The purpose of the foundation is to promote and support Finnish science, literature, art and public education. To this end, the foundation may award grants, funding and prizes, and otherwise provide financial support for activities that help to fulfil the purpose of the foundation.
Most grants awarded by the foundation are distributed on the basis of the August application round. This involves the award of personal grants for scientific and artistic projects lasting either a full-year or half a year, and for smaller projects.
Most applications for grants from the foundation’s city and dedicated funds should be made in January, at the beginning of the calendar year. The foundation has nine city funds and six dedicated funds. Each fund has its own local or otherwise limited function, in addition to fulfilling the purpose of the foundation. The application round for Major Cultural Project Grants also begins in January. These grants are intended for collectives, registered associations and companies. Between one and five Major Cultural Grants, which have lasted between one and three years, are awarded for projects each year. Annual grant applications must be made for multi-year projects. In addition to awarding grants, the foundation has small-scale cultural activities of its own.
Investment activities and finances of the foundation
The foundation’s investment activity is long-term and planned, with the aim of steadily increasing investment income and the amount of grants available for distribution. The market value of the foundation’s investment assets totalled EUR 166.7 million upon the closing of the accounts
The corresponding figure was EUR 151.1 million in the previous financial year. The value of investment assets increased by EUR 13.8 million compared to previous financial statements. Taking account of changes in market value, the total return on investment assets was 13.9% (8.9% in the previous financial year), exceeding the Board of Directors’ long-term real-return target of 5.0%. The total return on investment assets, excluding the change in the property valuation principle, was 8.9%.